Sweden defeat Japan to complete LGT World Women’s gold medal game line-up

  • Sweden advance to LGT World Women’s final © WCF / Céline Stucki

Olympic champions Sweden beat Japan by 6-3 in Saturday evening’s second semi-final of the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2019 in Silkeborg, Denmark and will face Switzerland in Sunday afternoon’s gold medal final.

Earlier, Switzerland had beaten China by 5-3 in the first semi-final. Together these results mean that Japan will play China for bronze medals before Sweden, who were finalists and silver medallists last year, face Switzerland for the world title.

After blanking the first end, Sweden’s skip Anna Hasselborg played a draw with her second shot of the second end as she tried to open with a score of two points. There was no doubt Sweden had scored one, but an umpire’s measure denied them the second point they were looking for, and they had to settle for 1-0.

Japan’s fourth player Ikue Kitazawa tried to score two points in the third end but had to settle for just one point when her second stone wrecked on a guard, as Japan levelled the score at 1-1.

In the fourth end Sweden’s Hasselborg managed to get her last stone around a guard and then tap a Japanese stone off the button to score two points and take a 3-1 lead.

In the fifth end, Japan’s Kitazawa was facing four counting Swedish stones when she played her last draw. However, she managed to get inside them all to score one point and reduce Sweden’s lead to 3-2.

The sixth end was blanked but then, in the seventh end, Sweden’s Hasselborg tapped out a Japan stone near the button and kept her own in play to score two points and move to a 5-2 lead.

Strong play by Sweden in the eighth end forced Japan to draw for just one point, then in the ninth end, Hasselborg brought her last stone around two guards and tapped out a Japan stone in the house to score one point and move her team’s lead to 6-3.

Sweden then ran Japan out of stones in the tenth end, to keep their title hopes alive.

Afterwards, Hasselborg said, “I made some misses early there and I’m proud of how the team just kept communicating and made the shots, and how we performed today.”

She took the time to pay tribute to her team’s coach, Canadian Wayne Middaugh, saying, “No-one has more experience than Wayne, he can bring some experience and that is really handy. He is a great, great influence.”

Looking forward to the final against Switzerland, which is a repeat of this season’s European final in Estonia where Sweden won by 5-4, she said, “They are a great team. Whoever plays the best will win, and it will just be by the smallest margins. It’s going to be a great battle, I’m looking forward to playing them.”

The bronze medal game will take place on Sunday at 10:00 while the gold medal final will follow that afternoon at 16:00 (all times Central European Time, GMT +1)

Results

Semi-final: Sweden 6-3 Japan.

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WWCC2019 #curling